The latest update to Cyberpunk 2077 has added a warning that the game contains images that can trigger seizures from people suffering from epilepsy.
Update: In response to the issue of seizure-inducing images in Cyberpunk 2077, Microsoft has issued a statement recommitting to accessibility options and guidelines for games on Xbox.
As reported in Gamesradar, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “Creating a place that is safe and inclusive is a priority for us. “That’s why we publish and share our accessibility guidelines with all of our gaming partners.”
“We continue to work on partnership with other publishers, industry experts, and members of the gaming and disability community to evolve and improve our certification process and we encourage all players to review warnings on all games”.
The statement doesn’t however elaborate on how they will change their certification process. But as people wonder how such an oversight occurred in the first place, one Twitter post claims that Nintendo has a more stringent certification process compared to the other platform holders.
This follows from a Game Informer article by Liana Ruppert – who suffers from epilepsy – detailing key scenes and images from the sci-fi RPG’s story that can be “danger zones for epileptics.” The writer herself had confirmed that during her playthrough that she had experienced at least one seizure and other times when she was close to another.
Washington Post reporter Elise Favis (below) was first to note this addition to the PC version, sharing a screenshot of the “Warning: Risk of Seizure” message on Twitter.
It’s a fairly standard warning you get at the start of many video games, so it’s odd that it was tucked away in the fine print of the game’s EULA.
Nonetheless, it does specifically call out the braindance sequence as a visual effect to watch out for, which Ruppert’s report had also highlighted as one of the game’s most high-risk trigger, causing her to have a grand mal seizure when playing.
Booted up Cyberpunk 2077 to see a seizure warning come up at the start of the game that wasn't there before. Really amazing to see how @DirtyEffinHippy helped make meaningful change happen for the safety of players. 👏 pic.twitter.com/ItNwuLOxla
— Elise Favis (@elisefavis) December 10, 2020
The warning reads: “In this game you will encounter a variety of visual effects (eg. flashing lights during braindance sequences) that may provoke seizures or loss of consciousness in a minority of people. If you or someone in your family has ever displayed symptoms of epilepsy in the presence of flashing lights, please consult your physician before playing Cyberpunk 2077. If you or someone you know experiences any of the above symptoms while playing, stop and seek medical attention immediately.”
The warning is expected to be added to the console versions too. CD Projekt Red has also said that they are exploring a “permanent solution” to the problem to be deployed as soon as possible.
While Ruppert has unfortunately been the target of harassment following the report’s publication earlier this week, it’s also heartening to see that the games industry and community has largely rallied support behind her.
She later tweeted, “Since this started, I’ve had 4 major AAA studios reach out to me saying this article has caused them to re-evaluate their dev process and more inclusive regarding neurological accessibility. I’ll take all of the abuse and hate if it means gamers can game safely.”
Prior to the new warning message, Twitch streamer Anne Munition made her own epilepsy warning graphic and shared it for other streamers to use. Popular streamer Pokimane also added a warning for her Cyberpunk stream.
Cyberpunk 2077 has received over eight million pre-orders, 74% of those being digital, while it has already topped the Steam chart with over one million concurrent players.
For those getting started in Cyberpunk 2077, here’s how to pick your lifepath between Corpo, Nomad, or Streetkid in Night City